Official time: 20:11. 11th Overall out of 130. 5th in Age Group.
This was the second race in the South County 4th Season series. It was held on Scarborough Beach in Narragansett and as the name suggests, it's half beach/half trail. A chance for redemption for WTAC in the team competition against the Tuesday Night Turtles. And a chance for Seth to prove his worth. Woke up later than I intended and saw there was a fresh snow cover on the ground. I still got to the beach with plenty of time to spare and was able to run the course as a warm-up with Jeff, Muddy, Tom and Aaron Rome The trail section was packed down pretty well - nothing too icy - so I opted not to use the Yaktrax.
Race started a little late so we were all huddled like refugees trying to avoid the chilling wind. Finally Galoob appeared and led us over to the starting line. I was at the front of the line farthest from the water and when the siren went off I took off at a good clip - fast but in my estimation not too fast. However due to the curve of the beach I couldn't see any of the other runners. Finally I started to see the usual suspects appear on my right. I reined it in a bit in order to fall in behind them and settled in to what was a tough but manageable pace on the sandy terrain. We ran to the far end of the beach and circled around a flag.
As we made our way back past the starting line I was a few hundred yards behind the lead back and in No Man's Land. Just me, Mark Walker and some other kid who zipped past us. We entered the frozen trail and I pulled ahead of Mark in order to keep the other zippy kid in my sight. I enjoyed running the trail section - the footing was fairly good and I could hear footsteps behind me the entire time. The feeling of being hunted was constantly there.
At the end of the trail portion there's an old stone house that we ran through. Nifty but the sharp corners really slowed everyone down. As I approached the house I heard footsteps bearing down on me. I sped up not wanting anyone to pass me. Better they remain behind me through the house as we spilled out onto the beach immediately afterwards.
Back on the beach, the zippy kid wasn't too far ahead of me. Beyond him, there was a turtle who appeared to be struggling. The mystery of the footsteps was solved when Tom Gruczka passed me. This is a front-of-the-pack guy so he was either hurt or just using this as a training run. Either way, he eased off as we reached the stream that had to be jumped and I was able to pass him. Approaching the finish now, zippy kid had passed the turtle and I was close to doing the same. I summoned whatever power I had left and sped up to pass the turtle. I was so close to Zippy now but I had used my reserves to pass the turtle and settled for finishing right behind Zip.
I was exhausted at the end - I don't have much experience running on sand (especially at a race pace) and trying to turn it on at the end in the sand proved difficult. I'm very happy with my time and place though. Ran the course for a third time with the WTAC crew as a cooldown and then refreshed with breads and drink. Unfortunately those damn Turtles eked out another victory. Redemption for WTAC will have to wait!